Portfolio Management Makes Way for Product Line Roadmapping

Product line roadmapping has portfolio management to thank for its emergence as a needed new product development (NPD) process. While the maturing of the stages and gates process revealed the need for portfolio management, the maturing of portfolio management has demonstrated that continuously enlarged economic gains from portfolio management are quite difficult to achieve. Often, once organizations realize initial notable gains from good mix management and project throughput management, getting more out of portfolio management becomes much more of a struggle – it becomes more like just rearranging the chairs on a ship’s deck.

Today, the two fundamental process challenges are for organizations to:

  1. Maintain and incrementally improve single NPD project stages and gates practices and multi-project portfolio management, while
  2. Getting bigger and better projects into the development pipeline.

It is illogical to think one can get much more out of a portfolio without getting better projects into the portfolio.  This opens the door for product line roadmapping — a process that enables greater leverage of development yielding greater impact in markets. While not a new practice, roadmapping previously emphasized technology and was conducted as a periodically occurring event rather than an ongoing process that integrated with stages and gates, and portfolio management.

An emerging understanding of the use of product line roadmapping to connect strategy to portfolio management, opens a wealth of opportunity for NPD organizations to reap enormous benefits, including:

  • Greater strategic impact (think revenue, earnings and market share)
  • Faster deliveries by leveraging platforms and delivering feeding technologies and capabilities in a more timely fashion
  • Better resource use efficiency through much smarter cross-organizational/cross-hierarchy coordination of work and decisions specific to a common product line strategy

With a focus on getting better projects into the pipeline, companies can leverage roadmapping to improve their portfolio output optimizing their use of stages and gates as well as portfolio management.

Next steps:

To learn more about the relationship between product line roadmapping, stages and gates, and portfolio management, read: Maturing NPD Practices Beget New Processes

To take a deep dive into product line roadmapping to understand how your organization can implement and benefit from the practice, download our whitepaper: Strategizing, Roadmapping and Executing the Product Line

The Adept-Group offers workshops to train your team to develop a powerful product line strategy and roadmap. Learn more and sign up today.


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